Is Rhode Island Really the Most Corrupt State in the Nation?
Political corruption exists at so many levels simultaneously that until now, academic definition remained elusive. Scoundrels: Defining Corruption Through Tales of Political Intrigue in Rhode Island changed that by defining corruption, not through the prism of indictments, but rather by the deleterious affect the act has on society.
Like sin itself, political corruption can be both active and passive, and each of these corruption practices can be exhibited in three categories; traditional, circumstantial and situational.
Traditional political corruption manifests itself through a public official’s extortion demands or acceptance of a bribe.
Circumstantial political corruption ensues when a public official takes advantage of current circumstances to enrich him or herself. In this case there is both a direct personal benefit to the official and an adverse impact to the public being served.
Situational political corruption arises when a public official is presented with a situation that serves either the public or individual good and makes a choice to serve the individual needs. There may be no direct benefit to the official other than performing a favor for another in the hope of receiving future favorable consideration.
Though circumstantial and situational political corruption are not generally covered in news stories nor prosecuted by authorities, they have a significant corrosive effect on society and are therefore no less corrupt in their nature than the traditional form or political corruption.
Scoundrels, which was recently recognized with a Dorry Award for non-fiction book of the year, offers an in depth look at the damage acts in all categories of political corruption can cause and brings each form to life through both familiar and never-before-heard stories ripped from the annals of Rhode Island’s political history. These riveting stories will show just why Rhode Island is often times described as the most corrupt state in the nation.
Paul F. Caranci is Rhode Island’s former Deputy Secretary of State and a former town councilman who worked undercover with the FBI to expose a corruption ring in his hometown that was described by Federal Judge Mary Lisi as “a criminal empire.” The resulting investigation resulted in ten indictments, with five sentenced to terms in federal prison and several others forced to pay fines and restitution for their criminal activities.
Scoundrels, and all of Caranci’s books are available in bookstores and on Amazon.
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